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Editorial comment

As I write this, we have just come to the end of the 2022/2023 ‘film awards season’. One of the movies nominated for a prestigious Academy Award was ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’. The murder mystery adventure, which features a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig, Edward Norton and Janelle Monáe, was up for the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ award. And although the Oscar in this category eventually went to ‘Women Talking’, the writers of ‘Glass Onion’ can take comfort in the commercial success of the film, which reportedly racked up an estimated 35 million views within three days of its release on Netflix.

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For those of you who haven’t seen the film, I’ll briefly explain why I am talking about it (warning: some spoilers ahead). As you may have already guessed, Glass Onion centres around the murder of a key character, and the audience is left guessing ‘whodunnit’ throughout. But aside from dramatic plot twists and red herrings aplenty, the story revolves around a conflict between the characters over the commercialisation of a fictional hydrogen-based fuel made of abundant seawater called ‘Klear’. Now, as you would expect from a Hollywood blockbuster, the line between fantasy and reality is more than a little blurred. For starters, Klear is a solid hydrogen fuel that resembles a crystal, which can be slipped into your pocket. In reality, pure hydrogen would need to be -260°C (-434°F) to exist in a solid state, which would make placing it in your pocket pretty difficult.

There are plenty of other misconceptions about hydrogen scattered throughout the film, including a somewhat lazy reference to its role in the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, and exaggerations about its propensity to leak compared to other fuels. And the film’s final scene leaves viewers in little doubt about the combustibility of the fuel, perpetuating the myth that hydrogen is inherently more dangerous than other hydrocarbon fuels. If you’d like to read more about the hydrogen plot holes throughout the film, there are plenty of articles available online (and I have included links to a couple at the bottom of this page).

However, these misconceptions are not helpful to hydrogen’s reputation, especially at a time when the sector is really starting to gain momentum. As an article from Hydrogen Forward (a coalition of companies working across the hydrogen value chain) summarises: “Hydrogen has been used throughout society for decades, complying with safety and logistics standards to enhance public safety. If net zero is to be achieved, building trust in all climate solutions, including hydrogen, will be required.”

And that is precisely our aim at Global Hydrogen Review. This issue is full of fascinating articles on topics including how to ensure safety during the hydrogen revolution (p. 31), and the vital role of sensors for hydrogen reliability and safety (p. 48). Other key themes throughout this issue include the green vs blue hydrogen debate (pp. 4 – 19), hydrogen liquefaction technology (p. 20), future fuel pipelines (p. 34), compressors (pp. 38 – 47), digitalisation (pp. 64 – 72), and much more.

I’d also like to invite you to attend our annual Global Hydrogen Conference on 20 April. This year’s virtual conference will be full of interesting presentations from the likes of Cornwall Insight, Honeywell, Topsoe and Svante. You can find out more, and register for your free space here.

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